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This paper explains how Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) can provide a principled mathematical framework for modelling the inherent uncertainty in spoken dialogue systems. It briefly summarises the basic mathematics and explains why exact optimisation is intractable. It then describes in some detail a form of approximation called the(More)
Natural language generation (NLG) is a critical component of spoken dialogue and it has a significant impact both on usability and perceived quality. Most NLG systems in common use employ rules and heuristics and tend to generate rigid and stylised responses without the natural variation of human language. They are also not easily scaled to systems covering(More)
| Statistical dialog systems (SDSs) are motivated by the need for a data-driven framework that reduces the cost of laboriously handcrafting complex dialog managers and that provides robustness against the errors created by speech recognizers operating in noisy environments. By including an explicit Bayesian model of uncertainty and by optimizing the policy(More)
Teaching machines to accomplish tasks by conversing naturally with humans is challenging. Currently, developing taskoriented dialogue systems requires creating multiple components and typically this involves either a large amount of handcrafting, or acquiring costly labelled datasets to solve a statistical learning problem for each component. In this work(More)
The natural language generation (NLG) component of a spoken dialogue system (SDS) usually needs a substantial amount of handcrafting or a well-labeled dataset to be trained on. These limitations add significantly to development costs and make cross-domain, multi-lingual dialogue systems intractable. Moreover, human languages are context-aware. The most(More)
Modelling dialogue as a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) enables a dialogue policy robust to speech understanding errors to be learnt. However, a major challenge in POMDP policy learning is to maintain tractability, so the use of approximation is inevitable. We propose applying Gaussian Processes in Reinforcement learning of optimal(More)
In this work, we present a novel counter-fitting method which injects antonymy and synonymy constraints into vector space representations in order to improve the vectors’ capability for judging semantic similarity. Applying this method to publicly available pre-trained word vectors leads to a new state of the art performance on the SimLex-999 dataset. We(More)
Current commercial dialogue systems typically use hand-crafted grammars for Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) operating on the top one or two hypotheses output by the speech recogniser. These systems are expensive to develop and they suffer from significant degradation in performance when faced with recognition errors. This paper presents a robust method(More)
A partially observable Markov decision process has been proposed as a dialogue model that enables robustness to speech recognition errors and automatic policy optimisation using reinforcement learning (RL). However, conventional RL algorithms require a very large number of dialogues, necessitating a user simulator. Recently, Gaussian processes have been(More)
While data-driven methods for spoken language understanding reduce maintenance and portability costs compared with handcrafted parsers, the collection of word-level semantic annotations for training remains a time-consuming task. A recent line of research has focused on building generative models from unaligned semantic representations, using(More)